The Gift of Gratitude

What is the one thing you can give today that takes less than five minutes, builds constituent loyalty, increases donor retention, and improves the physical and psychological health in you and others?

Gratitude.

Is this on your to-do list today?

It should be.

Because here’s the thing about gratitude: When we give it, it grows relationships (this applies outside of work, too!). It trips physiological responses that make our days better and our bodies healthier. I bet you didn’t know you have the power to improve another’s health that doctors can only offer through instructions on a prescription pad.

The first benefit of giving gratitude accrues to you: Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than others.

Gratitude positively impacts our overall physical well-being, for those extending it as well as those receiving it.

It helps us sleep better.

It enhances mental health and can have dramatic and lasting positive effects on a person’s life.

There is an entire white paper dedicated to the science of gratitude. Feel free to dig into it.

You have the power to give the gift of gratitude every day.

So why not start a daily habit of giving this gift? Habits take time and repetition…and intentional prompts that eventually become routine actions. One way to accomplish that is to build it into the natural movement of your day: 1) after you arrive at work/start your workday, 2) before lunch, 3) after lunch, and 4) before you end your workday.

That’s four contacts, each workday. Which amounts to 20 contacts per week, approximately 80 per month, and around 960 per year. It adds up!

Phone calls are best because they offer the most personal method of outreach and a chance to interact. And you never know where that call might lead. For those you know well, a face-to-face video call is even better.

But it doesn’t always have to be a call. Mix it up by sending a handwritten note, an email, a text message, or even a video of you looking right into your phone’s camera and offering thanks. Better yet, a video of someone who has benefitted from that person’s gift or service. We’re all walking around with cameras that can capture these moments. Why not put that to use occasionally?

As we start the month of October, an entire month-and-a-half from the season of thanksgiving, consider getting a jump-start on cultivating a habit that costs nothing, takes little time, and accrues health outcomes for you and those you reach.

Give the life-changing gift of gratitude and make it your new daily habit.

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